Information for New Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to the School of International Service! We are excited that you will be joining us in the upcoming semester. On this page, you will find some information to help you prepare before you arrive. Please feel free to contact SIS Graduate Advising if you have any questions.

New students for Fall 2018 may schedule an appointment with their advisor beginning April 10 and register for classes for fall beginning April 25. Please see below for registration instructions for fall 2018. New students will also receive registration information via email from our office beginning in mid-March.  

  1. Review the Advising Worksheet outlining your program requirements.  
  2. Review first semester course suggestions specific to your program and the registration instructions sent to you via email.
  3. Review the Schedule of Classes for upcoming course offerings.
  4. Plan your schedule and register via Eagle Service-Student Planning in your myAU Portal.

    New students will register for classes after continuing graduate students, so new students may find some courses have already filled. Therefore, we encourage students to register as soon as possible. Students are not required to meet with an advisor prior to registering.
  5. (Optional) Review registration FAQs.
  6. (Optional) Schedule an advising appointment

Fall 2018 Orientation

SIS will host a required Orientation for newly admitted graduate students for fall 2018 on Thursday, August 23. More information will be sent to students in early summer.

Any questions regarding orientation should be sent to sisgradorientation@american.edu.

Fall 2018 Students

As you wait for fall classes to begin, check out the exciting opportunities you will have during your time here at SIS. Consider options such as studying abroad, choosing a practicum as a potential capstone option in your second year, and completing rigorous skills institutes throughout your program of study. 

First Semester Course Suggestions

Full-time graduate students usually take 9 credit hours per semester, typically three, 3-credit courses. SIS does not typically recommend that students register for more than 3 classes in any semester. Please note that international students holding F or J visas must register full-time (9 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters). All students with university merit awards (scholarships and assistantships) should refer to their admissions/award letter for specific registration requirements. In order to be eligible for U.S. federal student loans, students must be registered at least half-time (5 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters; 2 credit hours in the summer).

First semester students in the Comparative and Regional Studies (CRS) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-672: Theories of Comparative and International Studies (only offered in the fall semester)
  2. SIS-673: Comparative Political Economy (only offered in the fall semester)
  3. One of the following:
    • One course in their regional concentration (for a list of approved regional courses, please visit your CRS Program Blackboard course)
    • SIS-600: International Affairs, Statistics & Methods
    • An economics course (see below)

When selecting an economics course, please note that all CRS students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. Students without a background in economics are required to take ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory before taking SIS-616. ECON-603 will be waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for CRS.

First semester students in Development Management (DM) are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-636: Micropolitics of Development
  2. An economics course (see below)
  3. One of the following:
    • SIS-600: International Affairs, Stats, and Methods
    • SIS-637: International Development

When selecting an economics course, please note that all DM students must complete SIS-731: Economic Development. Students without a background in economics are required to take ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory before taking SIS-731. ECON-603 will be waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for DM.

First semester students in the Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs (EPGA) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-622: Human Rights
  2. SIS-733: International Peace & Conflict Resolution Seminar I (only offered in the fall semester)
  3. PHIL-693: Global Ethics (only offered in the fall semester) 

Students may also choose to take a Research Methodology course (e.g. SIS-600: International Affairs, Statistics & Methods or SIS-750: Research/Professional Methods in International Affairs) or a "Choose One" course in Philosophy/Religion.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for EPGA.

First semester students in Global Environmental Policy (GEP) are encouraged to focus on required core courses in their first semester and should take:

  1. SIS-660: Environment and Politics
  2. Two of the following:
    • A second, approved Theory course
    • ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theroy (Note: Students with a background in micro- and macro-economics may request permission to substitute a higher-level economics course in place of ECON-603. Please contact your academic advisor for more information.)
    • A Research Methodology course (Note: Students without a background in statistics are encouraged to take SIS-600: International Affairs, Statistics & Methods as one of their methodology courses. For a full list of approved methods courses, click here.)
    • A Science course (Note: Students without a strong science background are encouraged to take ENVS-610: Environmental Science I). For a full list of approved science courses each semester, please contact your academic advisor.

Morgan Doerge is the academic advisor for GEP.

First semester students in the Global Governance, Politics, and Security (GGPS) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-619: Global International Relations Theory
  2. SIS-619: History of Global Politics
  3. One of the following:
    • SIS-600: International Affairs, Statistics & Methods
    • An economics course (see below)

When selecting an economics course, please note that all GGPS students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. SIS-616 requires prior experience with micro- and macro-economics. Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory prior to taking SIS-616.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for GGPS.

First semester students in the Global Media (GM) program are encouraged to take:

  1. COMM-723: Writing Across Media
  2. COMM-705: Media, Persuasion, and Democracy
  3. SIS-640: International Communication 

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for GM.

First semester students in the Intercultural and International Communication (IC) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-640: International Communication
  2. SIS-642: Intercultural Relations
  3. One of the following:
    • SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics & Methods
    • An economics course. Students may choose either ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory or SIS-616: International Economics (Please note: Students must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam to waive the pre-requisite for SIS-616.)
    • If you have a clear concentration focus, a course aligned with your concentration theme (Students are encouraged to discuss concentration course selection with the IC academic advisor.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for GM.

First semester students in International Development (ID) are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-636: Micropolitics of Development
  2. Two of the following:
    • SIS-637: International Development 
    • SIS-600: International Affairs, Statistics & Methods
    • An Economics course (see below)
    • A Concentration course

When selecting an economics course, please note that all ID students must complete SIS-731: Economic Development. Students without a strong background in economics are required to take ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory before taking SIS-731. ECON-603 will be waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for ID.

First semester students in the International Economics (IE) program are encouraged to take:

  1. ECON-605: Introduction to Mathematical Economics (must have previously taken Calculus).
  2. ECON-601: Macroeconomics (may be taken concurrently with ECON-605)
  3. One of the following:
    • SIS-616: International Economics (For students who have not previously taken International Economics; if taken, this course will be used as elective credit)
    • An approved Research Method course.

Please review the schedule of classes for any course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to determine how it can be waived.

Morgan Doerge is the academic advisor for IE.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations (IER) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-616: International Economics (Note: Students who have not taken both micro- and macro-economics must take ECON-603: Into to Economic Theory before taking SIS-616)
  2. One research and professional methods course. Students with a background in statistics are encouraged to take ECON-623: Applied Econometrics I. (Note: SIS students must have permission from the IER program director before they will be allowed to enroll). Please see the IER program worksheet for a list of approved research and professional methods courses.
  3. One of the following:
    • SIS-751: International Political Economy (only if waiving ECON-603)
    • One of the "Choose Two" IER-related courses for the Fall 2018 semester (Note: The list of approved "Choose Two" courses is available on the IER Blackboard page)

Please review the schedule of classes for any course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to determine how it can be waived.

Morgan Doerge is the academic advisor for IER.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations Certificate program are encouraged to take:

  1. ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory (Students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam are allowed to waive ECON-603 and register for SIS-616: International Economics. Students who waive ECON-603 are expected to substitute an additional economics course from the list of electives for ECON-603.)
  2. SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. One SIS elective course. *Note: SIS-665: International Trade Relations is only offered during the fall semester and SIS-666: International Financial Relations is only offered during the spring semester. Both courses have a prerequisite of SIS-616.

Please review the schedule of classes for any course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to determine how it can be waived.

Morgan Doerge is the academic advisor for the IER Certificate program.

First semester students in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-733: International Peace and Conflict Resolution Seminar I
  2. Two of the following:
    • SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics & Methods
    • An economics course. Students may choose SIS-619: Economics of Violence and Peace, ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory, or SIS-616: International Economics. (Note: Students must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam to waive the pre-requisite for SIS-616)
    • A Gateway course associated with an IPCR concentration of interest (Note: Gateway courses for the concentrations in Reconciliation & Justice and in Peacebuilding are not offered in the fall semester):
      • SIS-606: Culture, Peace, and Conflict Resolution - Alternatives to Violence (Gateway course for concentration in Culture, Identity & Peace; only offered in the fall)
      • SIS-611: International Negotiation (Gateway course for concentration in International Negotiation; only offered in the fall)
    • If you are certain of your core concentration focus, a course from the approved list associated with your chosen core concentration, which may be found on the IPCR EdSpace

Students pursuing a dual-degree between IPCR and the Master of Arts in Teaching or the Master of Theological Studies should consult with their academic advisor when planning their course schedule.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for IPCR.

1L JDMA students will not begin taking courses in SIS until their 2L year. 2L and 3L JDMA students should contact their academic advisor for registration suggestions.

Students beginning the Master of International Service Executive degree (MIS) program in the fall semester are strongly recommended to take:

  1. SISG-775: Executive Leadership* (IR Online course with on-campus immersion Thursday, August 23 - Sunday, August 26; only offered in fall or summer)

In addition, they may register for one or two of the following:

  1. An Economics course (3 credits)
  2. A Professional Research Methodology course (3 credits)
  3. A Concentration course (3 credits; Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student's individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS advising worksheet.)

*Information regarding the Fall 2018 Executive Leadership course will follow.

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS.

Students in the Master of International Service degree program following the International Studies Track (MIS:IST) for students from international partner institutions should register for three courses in their first semester:

  1. A methods course or economics course, if required (see admissions letter for more information)
  2. 2-3 concentration courses (depending on required courses listed above)

Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student's individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS:IST advising worksheet.

Depending upon the number of credits of Advanced Standing awarded upon admission and whether a student is required to take an economics and/or methods course, students take between 9 and 15 credit hours in the concentration, followed by a 3-credit capstone in their second semester.

Skills institutes may only be taken toward the concentration if the student will take more than 9 credits in their concentration.

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS:IST.

Students in the Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (NRSD) program take three required courses in the fall semester:

  1. SIS-660: Environment and Politics
  2. One of the following economics courses:
    • ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory (for students without a strong background in micro- and macro-economics)
    • SIS-620: Environmental Economics (for students with a strong background in micro- and macro-economics; please contact the NRSD advisor regarding pre-requisites if you would like to register for SIS-620)
  3. One of the following courses:
    • SIS-620: Global Climate Change
    • SIS-620: Political Ecology of Food & Agriculture
    • SIS-620: Water Governance

NRSD students are also required to take a non-credit Spanish class, which will meet on Wednesday mornings from 9:00am-12:00pm. You will not officially register for this course, but, for this reason, you should also not register for any other course that meets on Wednesday morning.

Marley Crutcher is the academic advisor for NRSD.

The Master of Arts in Social Enterprise (SE) is a "cohort" program, meaning that students sequence through the required core courses together as each group of new students enters in the fall semester. Students entering SE in Fall 2018 should take:

  1. SIS-696-302: Global Social Entrepreneurship (IR Online course with on-campus immersion Thursday, September 13 - Sunday September 16;3 credits)
  2. SIS-696-002: Ethics and Social Enterprise (1 credit)
  3. SIS-600: International Affairs, Statistics & Methods or an Economics course (see below) (3 credits)
  4. A Concentration or Elective course (2-3 credits)

There are two required economics courses for SE students:

  1. ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory* and
  2. An approved upper-level economics course (approved courses list can be found on the SE advising worksheet)

*Students without a strong background in economics are required to take ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory before taking an upper-level economics course. ECON-603 will be waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If the introductory economics course is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39.

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for SE.

First-semester students in the United States Foreign Policy and National Security (USFP) program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-689: Foreign Policy: Theories of Decision Making
  2. SIS-682: Foreign Policy: Institutions and Processes
  3. One of the following:
    • USFP “Choose Two” Course. The approved USFP “Choose Two” courses for Fall 2018 are:
      • SIS-653: U.S. National Security Strategy
      • SIS-653: Technology & National Security
      • SIS-653: Public Diplomacy
      • SIS-653: Grand Strategy
      • SIS-681: Intelligence and Foreign Policy
      • An approved courses on USFP toward a region (SIS-653: USFP Toward the Middle East)
    • History course:
      • SIS-653: Continuity and Change in USFP
      • HIST-661: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1918
    • SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics & Methods
    • A concentration course (if have a clear focus for your concentration)
    • An economics course (see below)

When selecting an economics course, please note that all USFP students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. Students without a strong background in economics are required to take ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory before taking SIS-616. ECON-603 will be waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for USFP.